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Previewed 25 October 2005, Opened 7 November 2005, Closed 11 March 2006 at the Garrick Theatre in London
A major revival of George Bernard Shaw's comedy You Never Can Tell in London starring Edward Fox and directed by Sir Peter Hall.
Relaxing amidst the sunshine of a seaside holiday, the enlightened Mrs Landfrey Clandon and her three unconventional children celebrate their return to England after eighteen years of living abroad. However, a chance encounter with their traditionalist father quickly entangles them in a series of wonderfully comic events, all played out over the course of a luncheon and fancy dress party. Bernard Shaw's comic tour-de-force You Never Can Tell is set beside the seaside where a holiday atmosphere prevails. He uses his lightest touch to explore the battle of the sexes, the absurdities of marriage and the generation gap.
The cast for this production of You Never Can Tell in London, originally seen in Bath earlier this year, as well as on a short UK tour, features Edward Fox as the waiter 'William' along with Diana Quick, Nancy Carroll, Ryan Kiggell, Michael Mears and Ken Bones, William Chubb, Matthew Dunphy, Madeleine Hutchins and Sinead Matthews. It is directed by Sir Peter Hall. George Bernard Shaw's other West End plays include Saint Joan, Pygmalion and Mrs Warren's Profession.
"The cast are almost as vivacious as the script: Sinead Matthews is superb as the merry, indiscreet Dolly, while Matthew Dunphy's Phil has an air of bratty pomposity. Edward Fox gives a carefully calibrated performance, able to infuse the line 'Cheese, sir?' with comic maturity, yet horribly torn between his son, a QC (Michael Mears), and his desire to cling to his humble 'station'. While class, money, gender and familial dysfunction all rear their ugly heads, the promised darkness never really emerges, and the final scene revels in the antic comedy of a masked ball. Nobody here is truly bad and these people can move on. Fox's character makes the case for life, not despair, because 'You never can tell'" The Sunday Times
"When Mrs Clandon arrives in a seaside resort with her three nearly grownup children, they quickly discover that a father (the existence of theirs has never been mentioned) is an indispensable part of one's social equipment. Surprise, surprise, Mr Valentine, the five-shilling dentist, introduces them to grumpy Mr Crampton, a man of the same age as their missing pa. Edward Fox effortlessly and delightfully steals the show as a waiter with the low-key grandeur, grace and unflappability of the true aristocrat. Almost invisibly, as is the way with the most accomplished, most considerate and utterly indispensable servants, he is the one who masterminds the reconciliation between the children and their father, as well as the sparring lovers: lovely Nancy Carroll, a typically clever Shavian heroine, and excellent Ryan Kiggell as the determined dentist. Very pleasant indeed." The Mail on Sunday
You Never Can Tell in London at the Garrick Theatre previewed from 25 October 2005, opened on 7 November 2005, closed on 11 March 2006.